An Experiential Career Skills Training Program

A hands-on, inspiring, and motivational weekly workshop to overcome inertia, clarify goals, and take action.

Alumni learn crucial self-evaluation, professional branding, and networking skills to succeed in today's competitive career marketplace.

workshop overview

Each ACTP Workshop uses the following framework:

format

6 consecutive weekly 90-min sessions

The program is offered as an online Workshop for 15 - 25 participants.

Each session covers a specific set of career development skills that are appropriate to any business sector or industry. The Workshop unfolds in an ordered sequence of skills that build on one another in a logical progression.

team facilitation

Direct in-session School Participation

Each Workshop is facilitated by ACTP founder John Tarnoff, and co-facilitated by a designated coach, counselor, faculty, or staff member of the partner school. There will be time in each session to cover school events and announcements, including sharing links and documents. The school facilitator provides context and will work with and prepare John to address or be mindful of any special considerations.

Materials

Handouts & Worksheets

Weekly handouts and exercises promote engagement and accountability, and serve as the basis for discussion in each session.  Participants can work at their own pace on their own schedule. They are encouraged to use and customize the lessons to best suit their preferences and goals. 

accountability

Polls, Breakout rooms, assignments

In-session polls and breakout rooms further develop engagement and accountability, and empower participants to better support one another, including making introductions and furthering their relationships outside of and beyond the workshop.

follow-up

attendance, Recordings, survey

Attendance is taken in each session (and shared with the school) to track individual engagement. An email is sent after each session with links to the week's assignment and the video recording of the session (recordings are deleted 1 month after the end of the Workshop).

technology

registration, scheduling

All registration, scheduling, and other logistics are handled through secure third-party platforms. Stats and reports are provided to the school and the process is completely transparent and accessible.

what's different about the ACTP workshop?

The ACTP provides an updated and timely approach to career transitions in the digital era. 

It is a person-centric methodology that encourages the development of a specific, niched, value proposition that can then be broadcast and manifested via networking and relationship-building.

This is diametrically opposite to the traditional HR-based approach, which encourages candidates to fit into company requirements, over-index on quantitative skills vs. managerial, leadership, and inter-personal skills.

The old way

  • Uses assessments to compartmentalize people into broad categories
  • Focuses on what employers want
  • Prioritizes resumé format, ATS strategy
  • Competitive: every candidate for themselves

The new way

  • Takes personal development approach to understanding individual strengths, talents, orientation, and values
  • Focuses on the unique value the candidate provides
  • Prioritizes networking, relationship-building
  • Collaborative: candidates work together to build interlocking referral networks

The Alumni Multiplier Effect - Leveraging Community & Building Networks

Alumni participants enter into the program with instant familiarity and rapport because of their shared school experience, and the culture that supported them through their education and out into the workforce.

Collaborating with fellow alumni going through similar circumstances will help participants refine a job search strategy, refer them to strategic allies, business partners, or investors, or connect them to events, conferences or other opportunities that they would not have been aware of.

syllabus overview

Six Specific Career Development Skills

Journaling

A simple, compelling technique using a brief daily journal to help unlock participants’ hidden career potential and track their progress along the way.

Reframing

Turning a "negative" into a "positive" has many applications and many benefits. Participants will learn two specific techniques to apply to their careers.

Leveraging Constructive Feedback

Applying outside perspectives to one’s career process can be invaluable, and participants will learn how to productively engage with trusted friends and advisers to help shape and guide their career process.

Optimizing the LinkedIn Profile

Participants will learn how to clarify and communicate their unique professional value to prospective employers, partners, allies, and investors – qualities, expertise, and talents that may have changed and evolved since their last job change or career transition.

Establishing a Career Relationship Funnel

This is a sensible technique to effectively categorize participants’ contacts and activate their network to get optimum results from their networking activities.

Thought Leadership

In the digital world, "standing out" means having to "stand up" and be heard. Using a blog and/or social media engagement to share opinions, connect with other professionals, and advance their own agenda and vision is a key skill participants will want to leverage as part of their career strategy.

Weekly Sessions Summary

Prepare for Session 1: Journaling.

Following successful registration, each participant will receive a confirmation message thanking them for joining the program and providing them with their handout for the upcoming first session and this syllabus.

This handout is the guideline for how to start their Journal – their first of the 6 skills they will learn in the program.

Downloadable:

  • Journaling Handout

Session 1: Welcome!

In the first Zoom session, participants will meet their fellow participants, introduce themselves, and share their career goals. Participants will have time to go into some level of detail and engage with the group and the facilitator to establish a baseline for where they want to be at the end of the six weeks. The facilitator will briefly go over the Journal process for any questions. Then, the participants will review their assignments for Session 2:

  • Participants will work with two Reframing exercises to help them open their mind to new ideas, and take a step away from old thinking patterns that may be holding them back and preventing them from considering new opportunities.
  • Participants will reach out to a small number of trusted advisors, colleagues, or friends who have known them for a long time and set up constructive feedback meetings. These conversations will provide some outside perspective on their strengths, challenges, performance, and potential. Additionally, these meetings will provide supportive guidance and pointers for their career strategy. NOTE: because of individual schedule demands, participants can expect to conduct these meetings over the course of the full six-week program, or beyond.

Downloadables:

  • Reframing Exercises Handout & Worksheet
  • Constructive Feedback Handout & Worksheet

Session 2: Reframing & Strategic Feedback

In addition to any updates on their activities, prospects, wins or challenges, participants will share their takeaways from working on the Reframing exercises (as well as their Journaling). If they’ve had a chance to conduct any feedback meetings, participants will share those experiences.  Generally, participants will work with the facilitator and the group to address obstacles, opportunities, and overall strategy.

For Session 3, participants will shift their attention to their LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn builds on their resume and is the persistent online repository for all their career-related information. But it is also their professional branding page - their opportunity to encapsulate who they are, and to better present themselves in the new light they want to create for their reinvented professional self. The downloadable handouts will help guide them on how to update their profile for discussion in the following session.

Downloadables:

  • LinkedIn Profile Handout
  • LinkedIn Headline/About Section Swipe File
  • LinkedIn About Section Draft Template

Session 3: LinkedIn Strategy

Participants will discuss their LinkedIn profile update process, including any challenges or breakthroughs they experienced with the Headline and Summary. They will receive feedback from the group and the facilitator to make their profile even more targeted and more personal, as a way to "get above the noise" and be more noticeable and searchable on the platform. Their goal will be to create an authentic and engaging value proposition for people who could be helpful to them on LinkedIn – including recruiters, prospective employers, and potential allies.

For Session 4, based on the work they've done with their LinkedIn profile, participants will start working on their Career Relationship Funnel. Participants will begin to set up their Funnel over the coming week, including initial prospecting on LinkedIn, and in-person networking groups or professional organizations that they can connect to.

Downloadables:

  • Career Relationship Funnel Handout
  • Relationship Career Funnel Tracker Spreadsheet

Session 4: Networking Plus

After the customary update and Journaling check-in, participants will share their progress with setting up their Career Relationship Funnel, including any questions or obstacles they may have encountered that the group may be able to help with. Participants will continue to implement their networking strategy, including attending at least one networking event, and connecting with between five and ten new people on LinkedIn.

Participants will share any uncertainty or questions about this process. Support from the group is important, and this is one place where the value of working to support their fellow participants will yield significant support and results.

This week, participants will be getting their final assignment, which will be to create a Thought Leadership strategy, including personal blog posts and/or a social media curation plan.

Downloadables:

  • Thought Leadership Strategy Handout
  • Thought Leadership Planner Worksheet

Session 5: Thought Leadership

The last two sessions will help set up participants’ ongoing career transition practice. They will continue to Journal, and network, and start their thought leadership practice. Participants will use the session to discuss their experiences and to fine-tune their approach. They will discuss their thought leadership strategy and get feedback from the group and the facilitator. They will consider which platforms they’ll use to focus their thought leadership, and on how they will express their “voice.”

Their assignment for the final session will be to outline their one-month career development activities after the conclusion of the ACTP.  This will anchor the work they’ve done over the course of the program.  What achievable, measurable actions can they take to maintain their momentum? Getting support is always helpful, and they may decide to partner with another participant over the subsequent month to help them maintain their accountability to their plan.

Session 6: Recap & One-Month Plan

Participants will have arrived at the final session! It will be time to assess the progress they've made over the course of the program, discuss their strategy going forward, and set some clear commitments for their next actions.  The facilitator will encourage them to keep the momentum going, and to adhere to their one-month plan. In the session, they will be encouraged to identify their specific action steps, and if applicable, with whom they are partnering from the group to help ensure their success.

Some past groups have organized their own group check-ins to keep meeting beyond the six weeks. These informal sessions have kept the momentum going from the group and provided ongoing support for the skills they learned.

Follow-Up

Follow-up emails will be sent one week and one month after the final session to provide additional support and solicit inquiries should the participants have any questions, or want to relay any developments.

A survey will also be sent following the final session to collect participant feedback. A suggested template for the survey will be shared with the school for their input and customization.

Go In-Depth With The Program

REVIEW AND SHARE WITH COLLEAGUES TO SEE IF THE PROGRAM IS RIGHT FOR YOU

Learn all of the details, including:

  • How the ACTP provides value to school Partners
  • ACTP Partner process and timeline
  • Defining the target Workshop participant
  • Scheduling a Workshop
  • Customizing the Marketing Process
  • Talk to an ACTP Partner school
  • How to proceed to next steps